Crypto market values exceed $2 Trillion, Playboy launching NFTs? And who are this year’s new Bitcoin billionaires? These stories and more, this week in crypto.
Price rallies for cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin pushed the digital-asset industry’s total market capitalization to about $2 trillion, doubling in just a few months. Altcoins, such as Binance Coin along with Bittorrent, XRP, and Stellar have all logged double-digit percentage growth in the past week.
Several prominent names in the crypto space have made their way onto Forbes’ 2021 Billionaires List. This year’s rankings include 12 crypto notables—a huge increase over last year, when it included only four. Among the top individuals to earn places on the list were the Winklevoss twins, and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor.
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel is a huge fan of bitcoin, but in a recent interview, he expressed his worry that bitcoin could potentially be used as a financial weapon by China against the U.S. Despite owning and investing in several virtual currencies, Thiel urged the U.S. government to consider tighter regulations on cryptocurrencies for the future.
The leading cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, revealed that its first quarter of this year has been record-breaking. It reported a revenue of around $1.8 billion while the trading volume increased by more than 300%. The record revenue report comes in just a week prior to Coinbase’s direct listing on the NASDAQ, which is scheduled for April 14.
Another US crypto exchange, Kraken is also considering going public with a direct listing in 2022. The start-up saw four times as many new users sign up to its platform in the first quarter as it did last year. Kraken is currently in talks with investors for funding, which could reportedly lift its value to as much as $20 billion.
The second-oldest US bank, State Street Corporation has announced its plans to enable cryptocurrency trading using its infrastructure. State Street’s entrance reaffirms the growing adoption rate from banking institutions into the cryptocurrency industry, as the oldest US bank, BNY Mellon, recently said it would also begin offering digital asset custody services earlier this year.
The iconic brand, Playboy is getting into the market for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, the new art form that has gained popularity over the past year. Playboy is partnering with the NFT auction house Nifty Gateway, and plans to showcase new NFTs alongside original works printed in the past.
Musician Akon has been granted one square mile of land by the Ugandan government to begin building the second “Akon City,” a region of Africa that will run entirely on blockchain. Like the city he is building in his native country of Senegal, it will solely operate on his AKoin token, a stellar-based cryptocurrency.
That’s what’s happened this week in crypto. See you next week.